Which Call Center Duties Matter Most?

From inbound and outbound calls to upselling at the right moment, call center reps have a lot to juggle and accomplish within a tight window of time. Call center duties for reps and managers are wide-ranging and not restricted to simply phone calls. There's far more involved. Depending on the call center, regulations and strict adherence to security protocols also come into play. In this article, you'll learn about the various responsibilities involved for reps and managers in a call center and why they matter for success.

Primary Responsibilities of An Agent

Agents are on the front lines and have the most exposure to customers. The majority of their time is filled with speaking to customers and forming relationships. The better the agent's discussion with the customer, the more opportunity there is to upsell products and services. For agents who are responsible for selling products and services, they not only must meet a sales quota but a call quota as well. This requires a special set of call center skills.

To ensure these agents meet their monthly numbers, call center training is common practice. Learning the basics of sales and then moving into more advanced sales techniques will help these agents produce more sales while managing their call load. For agents in a healthcare call center, it is a similar situation. They must learn about strict security and HIPAA compliant protocols. Training takes agents away from the call center. This requires the call center manager to move people around and plan ahead to ensure call volume is met.

It's the call center manager who is responsible for ensuring the center is staffed with the right number of people to handle varying call loads throughout the day. The call center will know, from historical trends, when the busiest times of day occur. Staffing creates its own puzzle. If call volumes don't hit their peak at predicted times, an unproductive environment is a result as some staff becomes idle. Trying to staff just enough people can leave the call center short, as calls exceed available capacity, which leads to longer customer hold times. 

Managers want to ensure great customer service. Long hold times don't help in reaching this goal. In the next section, we'll see how software helps to make call centers more efficient, including solving the staffing puzzle.

To summarize the primary responsibilities of agents:

  • Engage customers and build rapport.
  • Look for opportunities to upsell.
  • Post-call work/notes.
  • Meet sales and call quotas.
  • Attend regular training.

How Does Call Center Software Improve Efficiency?

If we look closer at what an agent does on the phone, their tasks follow a particular pattern. When a customer calls in, an agent needs to know the customer's purchase and support history. Anything pending that should be discussed first from previous calls must be taken care of. Knowing the customer's overall value to the company (based on total purchases) will help the agent determine potential upsells. Post-call notes are important as well. Getting everything in its place during a call might not be possible. Post-call work allows the agent to ensure their notes are accurate. They are also able to add anything to their notes that might have been missed during the call.

Helping coordinate the above flow is communications software. This software will include a CRM (customer relationship management), billing integration, messaging and various other integrations to feed needed information to the agent. The software is a tremendous help to increase productivity. If any of the previously mentioned software components are missing, productivity will be negatively impacted.

In addition to helping agents, in the background, the communications software is analyzing data in real-time. This analysis allows managers to gauge call volumes. The software can even perform short-term predictions about the next few hours of calls. Without communications software, the call center would not be able to keep up with its competition. 

Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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